It’s been a mighty hard year for us Flyers fans… and for the team as well. While nobody who is sane had any illusions about this team hoisting the Stanley Cup over their heads, the team did start out of the gates rather competitively. Then November happened, more players got hurt, and the team spiraled into a long 10-game losing streak. Even then, Coach John Tortorella refused to harshly condemn his players as, in his eyes, they are playing as hard as they can.
It’s been no secret that injuries have decimated this team from top to bottom. Some players, like Travis Konecny and Tony DeAngelo, have missed a few games. James van Riemsdyk has missed a bunch. And yet there were three Flyers stars who have been out since last season and are most likely done for the season: Sean Couturier, Ryan Ellis, and now, Cam Atkinson.
Couturier has been out since Christmas time of 2021. And while there were rumors of him getting better, he won’t be back, at the earliest, until March or April; although to be honest it just might be better to let him rest up, heal, and come back in 2023 if he can. Ellis has played only four games since becoming a Flyer and every report from the beginning of training camp has indicated his career is most likely over.
Cam Atkinson’s season with the Flyers is effectively over
This brings us to Atkinson. Atkinson, while missing a few games at the end of last season, gave no indications of any injury. At the beginning of training camp, he said he was excited to get rolling with the new coach. And then….something happened.
At first, he was going to miss a few games — day to day they said it was. Some upper-body injury. And then a few days turned into a few weeks. Then a few weeks became all of October and November with no real update. The only update given was that he may be activated as the team when on the four-game western road trip. In fact, there was a great video of him getting into a minor tussle with Rasmus Ristolainen. Even as short as two weeks ago, all signs, were pointing to his imminent return.
And now today’s news. This upper-body injury is going to keep him sidelined throughout the rest of the year. On Wednesday, he will be undergoing neck surgery. The is some speculation that the injury is not career-threatening, but again, as of a week or so ago he was supposed to come back.
Ellis and Atkinson were the crown jewels of GM Chuck Fletcher’s 2020-21 offseason. Both of those guys look as if they may never don the orange and black again. Stay tuned as more news should develop on Atkinson. It’s also interesting that the piece of the trade the Flyers sent to Columbus when they traded for Atkinson, Jakub Voracek, is also facing a serious injury of his own.